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LB Khalid Henderson: “There were a lot of shameful moments” last season

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky senior tight end Jordan Aumiller didn’t mince words about UK’s 2-10 season in 2012 that cost coach Joker Phillips and his staff their jobs when he said it wasn’t “fun for any UK fan or player.”

But will this year be different? Kentucky coach Mark Stoops is facing a schedule loaded with ranked teams and a season-opening game against Western Kentucky and new coach Bobby Petrino — the coach some thought would have been a good fit for UK when Phillips was fired.

Returning players have been careful to try and avoid criticizing last year’s staff that featured a way too complex defense put together by Rick Minter, an offense that apparently was equally difficult to learn under Randy Sanders and lack of confidence that the Cats could win.

Yet when the players have been asked questions, they have answered freely and the insights help explain why last year was bad. Very bad. It also justifies why fans were right to bail out on Phillips when they did in spite of his contributions to Kentucky as a player and coach.

Sophomore linebacker Khalid Henderson didn’t hold back when asked how frustrating it was last year trying to understand the defense.

“It was really frustrating. Even though it was my freshman year, I knew that was not the right process going into a game and not knowing what was going on on the field. That’s all I will say about last year. It was hard to adjust and play,” said Henderson.

Is football more fun this year?

“I would say that. Everybody is coming to practice ready to practice and wanting to practice. People want to get better and I love that about going into this season,” Henderson said. “It was not like that toward the end last year. There were a lot of shameful moments then, but we are looking forward to this season now. It’s completely different.”

Wow! Shameful moments and players not even wanting to practice. No wonder Vanderbilt embarrassed UK late last season and the Cats were no match for a poor Tennessee team.

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/lb-khalid-henderson-there-were-a-lot-of-shameful-moments-last-season/

5 comments

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  1. AndyP

    Rich Brooks pushed Mitch into going along with Joker as the HCIW. I’m sure Joker gave it all he had, but he should have never been put in that position. Granted he’s millions richer, but his credibility and reputation have been trashed. When you look around for a scapegoat for the last three years, don’t blame Joker or Mitch. Rich Brooks made it happen.

  2. Darrell

    You can’t blame rich. Joker wanted it and took it. He thought he could do it and we all seen he couldn’t. It is his fought. He hired all of his coaches and they couldn’t do it either

  3. Ira

    Joker should have gotten his HC experience at another school like in the MAC or C-USA found out how to be a head coach. Learned what it took to be successful then came back to his alma mater. Joker built a staff that was old as the hills, no fire in their bellies, you got to have something different here at UK.

    Coach Stoops and staff understands this, look at everything they do. How they do things. They treat this program as an SEC school. Never felt Joker ever did. Yet in all of this Joker gave us our first win over the Ole ball Coach and USCjr in 10 yrs, beat UT in 26 yrs.
    Unfortunately it will be a long time for him to be really remembered for this, right now he is remembered for last season. That is on him as well.

  4. goUKats

    The telling moment for Joker was the way he handled the Hartline/Newton situation and bowl preparation that first year.That’s when fans started becoming suspect of his hire,and the program started turning into a disaster.

    How many times did we near Joker say they were going to have to simplify things during his head coaching tenure? Too many.

    As a long suffering UK football fan(50 years),i’m sad that so many fans stayed away the past two years,but i’m glad they did because this was the only way those in charge at UK were going to be awakened.

  5. Jim Harris

    Seems strange to me that the UK “brain trust” made the HC-in-waiting deal with Joker when time after time good coaches with proven HC experience had failed at UK. Even we “nobodys” knew better. But we all gathered up our hopes and went charging off in support of good guy Joker. Doesn’t really matter where we try to place the blame now, it was another chapter in failure football at Kentucky.

    And now we’re nearly rabid in our excitement over a new coach (with no HC experience) who has hired a greatly improved staff (heard that one before?) and we’re mostly expecting immediate successful change of direction for the big blue football machine. Successful recruiting in Ohio and attitude adjustment have been great. However, we have a few more days before our first game, a game against what should be a big underdog, but isn’t. A nobody team, WKU, has one advantage over the Cats: they have a really good proven head coach.

    If WKU should again pull off the big upset, it would not be funny to see the rats deserting the ship after a single game. Goodness! These first 3 games are as key as any in our modern football history. Win big, win big, play respectably. That’s the order, anything less will let a lot of the hot air out of our BigBlue balloon. Too, we’d only have to be a little bit better and get one big upset to go 6-6. And we need to enjoy the euphoria much much longer. Tiny Tim might say “God bless us everyone”.

    As negative as I may sound, I’m as hopeful as anyone. Just can’t help my sometimes
    Thomas-style doubting…..

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